Lakeshore Mourns Loss of Rick Richards
July 20, 2013 — Lakeshore Public Media joins the community in sending deepest sympathies to the family of Rick Richards. The Michigan City man was a husband, a father of daughters Erika and Meredith, and a colleague to journalists and media practitioners across Indiana, and across a few decades. He was the assignment editor for Lakeshore News until his death today in Porter County.
Rick was a career journalist as a long-time newspaper editor, news manager, reporter and writer, spending the past five years as sole proprietor of Your Writing Solutions freelance editing and writing, Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly Magazine editor, and most recently Lakeshore’s news assignment editor.
Rick recently wrote, “We want to inform our viewers. We want to make sure our stories are compelling. We hope to educate our viewers, and in the end, we want to leave them with a smile.” Please forgive my indulgence here to say Rick did exactly that, the last time I saw him, as I hope he did for his family and other friends and colleagues.
Rick’s community involvement was ongoing, whether as a member of the St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish Council, serving the homeless overnights as a volunteer for the Michigan City Men’s Homeless Shelter, or his role representing the community as a member of the Indiana Department of Corrections LaPorte County Community Advisory Board. He also was a member of the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County Scholarship Selection Committee and a volunteer for the marketing and publicity committee of The Home Team in Michigan City.
His professional career starting after his 1975 graduation from Ball State University, working for National Road Traveler and the Michiana Farmers Journal before six years with The News-Dispatch in Michigan City. His 16 years that followed at the Post-Tribune included assorted positions before he returned for another six-year term with the News-Dispatch, ending in 2008.
Rick’s resume lists two pages of awards, involving business reporting, agricultural reporting, and overall journalism performance from organizations including Indiana Associated Press Managing Editors, Hoosier State Press Association, The Headline Club/Chicago Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, National Association of Agricultural Journalists, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Indiana State Medical Association, and the National Newspaper Association.
Reports today from Porter County say that County Coroner Chuck Harris confirmed the death of Rick Richards approximately 3pm, after apparent heart failure following Rick’s participation in a three-mile mudathon obstacle course, during which he reported discomfort and sought medical attention, going to a Porter County hospital where he was pronounced dead at the age of 59.
Photo: Rick at Lakeshore Studio March 2013